Date(s) - 12/03/2021
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At the 3rd UNESCO Chair meeting in India, Dr. Rajesh Tandon, Founder-President, PRIA and UNESCO Chair in Community-Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education spoke of the Chairs focus in the past year as well as the coming year. He started with the good news of the Chair’s renewal until 2024. The National Education Policy 2020 has emphasized on community engaged teaching and research as well as the societal contribution to higher education. It has promoted understanding of social responsibility in higher education and given a new lease of life to the UGC/UBA Social Responsibility Framework. Dr. Tandon stated that he would be steering a project of training and building capacities of 200 master trainers under this framework this May onwards.
Another area of focus for the Chair has been drawing linkages between CBPR and locally led climate- resilience actions amongst urban informals and youth-led groups. This conversation which got recognition at the Gobeshona Global Conference hosted by ICCCAD will be now taken forward this year at COP 26 by amplifying grassroots youth voices on climate adaptation and resilience.
Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers was also deliberated on by the Chair in 2020, wherein many practitioner networks got involved along with scientists. There were climate researchers, OHS researchers, researchers on food security and migration policy amongst others. The Chair was also actively involved in a global network to organize 11 International Open Science webinar series as part of the movement for facilitating openness of scientific knowledge to society and promoting knowledge democracy. The Science, Technology and Innovation policy being framed currently by the Government of India held consultations with Dr. Tandon and others and many of the recommendations from the international webinar series will find a central place in it. The upcoming book ‘Socially Responsible Higher Education: International Perspectives on Knowledge Democracy’ by Dr. Budd Hall & Rajesh Tandon will be launched very soon. Finally, Dr. Tandon shared the Chair’s vision to take these conversations to the UNESCO’s Third World Higher Education Conference (WHEC2021) which is confirmed to be held at Barcelona during October 7-9, 2021, with specific emphasis on Higher Education & SDGs, Inclusion in Higher Education and Data and Knowledge Production. As UNESCO Chair, and being part of the UNTWIN network, the Chairs are invited by UNESCO to organize widespread consultations on any theme, generate policy briefs and share exciting videos of key messages. They feel that this is a great opportunity to influence UNESCO’s policies and mandates for future of higher learning and education.
Please find Dr. Tandon’s presentation below.